“Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action…”

“Franz Ferdinand is music of the night: to fling yourself around your room to as you psyche yourself for a night of hedonism, for the dance-floor, flirtation, for your desolate heart-stop, for losing it and loving losing it, for the chemical surge in your bloodstream. Its for that lonely hour gently rocking yourself waiting for dawn and it all to be even again.” Franz Ferdinand are bloody brilliant, aren’t they?
Their fourth album, Righ Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, kind of reminds me of 2004-2008 Franz Ferdinand, witty alternative rock. Like a best-of album, I suppose. Like a pleasent nostalgia trip ten years into the past, though deprived of any freshness and uniqueness.
All in all it’s a good album, yet it’d slighlty dissappoint any hardcore Franz Ferdinand fan. I think perhaps they need to start focusing on “more thoughts, more words, more action”. That should get them more attention.

Tracklist:

1. “Right Action”
Alex Kapranos, Nick McCarthy, Robert Hardy
Joe Goddard, Alexis Taylor
3:01
2. “Evil Eye” Kapranos, McCarthy Prince House Rabbit, Todd Terje 2:47
3. “Love Illumination” Kapranos, McCarthy Prince House Rabbit 3:44
4. “Stand on the Horizon” Kapranos, McCarthy Prince House Rabbit, Todd Terje 4:23
5. “Fresh Strawberries” Kapranos, McCarthy Prince House Rabbit 3:21
6. “Bullet” Kapranos, McCarthy, Alexander Ragnew Prince House Rabbit 2:43
7. “Treason! Animals.” Kapranos, McCarthy Björn Yttling
4:07
8. “The Universe Expanded” Kapranos, McCarthy, Hardy Björn Yttling, Prince House Rabbit 4:34
9. “Brief Encounters” Kapranos, McCarthy Prince House Rabbit 3:09
10. “Goodbye Lovers & Friends” Kapranos, McCarthy Joe Goddard, Alexis Taylor, Prince House Rabbit 3:15

What I’ve learned from going to a Swim Deep gig.

What I've learned from going to a Swim Deep gig.

There are very few bands that can pull off being simultaneously good and funny. But, as expected, they’re spot on. They’re not even trying to be hilarious, they’re just a bunch of wonderful weirdos. Everything about the gig was bloody wonderful. Well, except from the arseholes who were on their phone all night.

Anyway, here’s a few things I learned after going to the Swim Deep gig:
1) Higgy really does have other tops apart from the Nirvana one. Seriously.
2) Music ALWAYS sounds better live.
3) Austin looks good in almost anything (notice I used ‘almost’ there? It’s because nobody looks good in leggings. Nobody.)
4) Band guys are the coolest guys on earth.
Swim Deep and Wolf Alice are bloody amazing live. Seriously, if you’ve never heard of them or seen them live then I strongly suggest you do. It was mind-blowing, and they’re are really down to earth. REALLY down to earth. To be honest I was pretty dubious about going because I have the social life of a hibernating squirrel.
5) I should start doing homework BEFORE gigs. Until now I’ve no idea how I managed to write three sides of homework in approximately 10 minutes before in was about to be handed in.
6) Most drunk hippies don’t understand the concept of personal space.

Is the Mercury Prize Awards cursed?

Most people think that winning the Mercury Prize Award is a dream come true for any musician, but is it all that it’s cracked up to be?

A minority of people genuinely believe that it’s cursed. Yes. CURSED.

Okay, I admit to finding this theory a little ridiculous at first, but then I realised this: there actually is an elaborate history of failure after winning the Mercury Prize.

Have you ever heard of Roni Size/Reprazent? Ms Dynamite’s second album? And any ideas whatsoever about what happened to Pulp after winning in 1996?

No, no, and no again.

(For the record, subsequent to Pulp’s Award success, they embarked on a number of international tour dates, released the album ‘This Is Hardcore’, which failed to live up to the legacy of ‘Different Class’, before taking an ‘extended hiatus’ for nine-years in 2002).

I’m not completely convinced about this so-called ‘curse’ because, well, after all, winning the Mercury prize award will get you a s**t ton of media attention (even if it’s just for a time being). You’d be guaranteed a mention in every music magazine and an airplay on every radio station in Britain. It’s part of the package of winning.

Have you ever heard of Arctic Monkeys? Klaxons? Franz Ferdinand?

Yes. Yes. And yes. Well I assume so, judging by their success in the music industry.

I’m completely on the fence with this one. I guess it depends on how popular you are before winning it, so if Bowie’s ever nominated for an award, it shouldn’t matter whether he wins or loses – he’s been around for more than four decades, for goodness sake. Same goes with Arctic Monkeys. I’m certain that they can do without the twenty grand. After all, they could build a fort with all the money they have, and still have some left over.

But what about the lesser-known bands? The Scottish alt. hip hop group ‘Young Fathers’ are a leading example. Last year’s winners of the Award for their cheerfully titled ‘Dead’ album, beating other well-known musicians such as Damon Albarn, Bombay Bicycle Club and Anna Calvi to the title.

If they were ever to be re-nominated, and end up winning again (even though it’s unlikely, as only P J Harvey has ever managed this), would that be their nail in the coffin, if it hasn’t been already, or that ubiquitous everybody-knows-who-you-are status?

It’s anybody’s guess, really.

Absolutely Nothing

“Once on a piece of yellow paper with green
Lines
He wrote a poem
And he called it “Chops”
Because that was the name of his dog
And that’s what it was all about
And his teacher gave him an A
And a gold star
And his mother hung it on the kitchen door
And read it to his aunts
that was the year Father Tracy took all the kids to the zoo
And he let them sing on the bus
And his little sister was born
With tiny toenails and no hair
And his mother and father kissed a lot
And the girl around the corner sent him a
Valentine signed with a row of X’s
And he had to ask what the row of X’s meant
And his father always tucked him in at night
And was always there to do it.

Once on a piece of white paper with blue lines
He wrote a poem
And he called it “Autumn”
Because that’s what it was all about
And his teacher gave him an A
And asked him to write more clearly
And his mother never hung it on the
Kitchen door
Because of its new paint
And the kids told him
That Father Tracy smoked cigars
And left the butts on the pews
And sometimes they would burn holes
And that was the year his sister got glasses
With thick lenses and black frames
And the girl around the corner laughed
When he asked her to go to see Santa Claus
And the kids told him why
His mother and father kissed a lot
And his father never tucked him in bed that night
And his father got mad
When he cried for him to do it.

Once on a paper torn from his notebook
He wrote a poem
And he called it “Innocence: A Question”
Because that was the question about his girl
And that’s what it was all about
And his professor gave him a strange and steady look
And his mother never hung it on the
Kitchen door
Because he never showed her
That was the year Father Tracy died
And he forgot how the end
Of the Apostle’s Creed went
And he caught his sister
Making out on the porch
And his mother and father never kissed
Or even talked
And the girl around the corner
Wore too much makeup
That made him cough when he kissed her
But he kissed her anyway
Because that was the thing to do
And at three a.m.he tucked himself into bed
His father was snoring loudly.

That’s why on the back of a brown paper bag
He tried another poem
And he called it “Absolutely Nothing”
Because that’s what it was really about
And he gave himself an A
And a slash on each damned wrist
And he hung it on the bathroom door
Because this time he didn’t think
He could reach the kitchen.” – Osoanon Nimuss